Colonial America

New Spain

Dr. Kane Social Science 116 | MWF 12:35-1:30 PM

Office Hrs: M 10:20 - 11:20 & F 1:30 - 3:30 Social Science 60S

Friday, September 8

coming up

  • Academic Honesty quiz Sept 11
  • Objects paper due Monday Sept 25 (BB)
  • OPTIONAL feedback via Blackboard

Atlantic islands colonization

  • Christianization as justification
  • commodification of labor =/= commodification of people
  • first "triangle trade"

1494 Treaty of Tordesillas and papal Inter Caetera


Taylor, New Spain

  • what factors does Taylor argue were key to the Spanish conquest?
  • how did Native people adapt to life under Spanish rule?
  • why was the "Black Legend" useful to other European powers?

Mexica politics

  • "imperial" consolidation 1400 - 1520
  • dissolution of the Triple Alliance
  • centralization of power with tributary city states
  • cult of Huitzilopochtli and integration of new gods in alliances

Aztec empire


the conquest of Mexico

  • 1517-1521
  • several hundred conquistadors - and thousands of Tlaxacalan and Texcocoan warriors
  • escalating hostage crises - La Noche Triste
  • small pox outbreak and internal politics
  • Siege of Tenochtitlán - abandonment of just war tactics

The Conquest of Tenochtitlán



aztec map
aztec map

Taylor, Spanish Frontier

  • why were the Spanish less successful outside of central Mexico?
  • how did Native people attempt to get rid of initial Spanish incursions?
  • why did colonial administrators and missionaries sometimes disagree?

northern New Spain

  • Taylor, pg 71
  • southern extent of old Cahokian influence
  • ethnogenesis and coalition of new confederacies
  • Counter Reformation
  • inner conversion follows outer conversion - civil and Christian

agriculture and environment

waffle gardens

1680 Pueblo Revolt

  • suspicion of conversos
  • environmental change - livestock droughts
  • traditionalist revivalism
  • pre-contact politics + 80 years of cultural change
  • syncretic religious practice post-revolt and semi-independence